Fear of birth

Leonie - posted on 04/23/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I'm interested to know, were you frightened of giving birth and going through labour before or when you first fell pregnant?

How do you think being frightened affected your choices or the birth you had?

Did you ever get over your fear?

And if you did, how did you manage that?

With my first birth I knew fear was not good for labour and i knew birth was natural and normal but it's hard not to be frightened when you've never done it before and everyone says how bad labour is!

With my 2nd birth I had no or at least very little fear of birth and the birth was amazing.

What were your experiences?

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User - posted on 01/14/2011

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I'm pregnant with my first child (16 weeks) and I will admit i am at some point terrified,I hate hospitals and the fear of medication I don't know what could do to me. How I coped and am still coping is i decided to do my birth at a Birthing Center where I don't have the stress of scary contraptions and medicines and those people in scary suits XD.

Best thing to do is research, research, research. Rely on your faith and read funny uplifting birth stories. My fear has subsided and I am more excited to do this Natural Birth more than nervous.

Mary - posted on 04/25/2010

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I'm an L&d nurse, so I came at this from a bit of a different perspective...I not only know all that can go wrong, I've SEEN it happen. I was probably a little bit more apprehensive than most prior to 28 weeks...my biggest fears were of a micro-premie. I didn't by one blessed thing until I was 32 weeks, and would not bring anything baby-related into my home before then, either.



Funnily enough, labor didn't scare me in the slightest. I seemed to accept that I had no control over how long or hard the process would be, and I wasn't upset by the thought of a section, either. It's not that I wanted one, but I knew that there are much worse things that could happen to my body or my baby than surgery. I was apprehensive about how I would "be" and whether or not I would be a "good" pusher...the nurse in me wanted to be a good and "pleasant" patient...I was delivering where I worked!



I think a bit of fear and apprehension is NORMAL for all expectant mothers, especially when you've never done it before. I witnessed and helped with hundreds of births, but MY body had never done it, and I had no idea what it would really feel like, or how I would cope with it.



When the actual day came, I was 39 4/7, and so sick of being pregnant, I was both relieved, and exhilarated. I was more than ready to hold my baby in my arms instead of my belly. I welcomed each contraction as bringing me one step closer to the ultimate goal, and just sort of rode the wave of pain, knowing it would shortly end, and I'd get a little break before it began again. When her head truly descended, that pressure was unreal, but pushing felt GOOD, and the feeling of that head coming out was an indescribable relief...but nothing to when she was placed on my belly, and I heard her cry, and saw her face. Nothing in my life can ever compare to that. It was the most perfect day in my life, and one that I would happily relive over and over again.

Carolee - posted on 04/25/2010

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Leonie, I'm just naturally a nervous wreck (lol). With my son, I had borderline preeclampsia and was worried about all the things that can go wrong with that. With this pregnancy, I found out why I have some symptoms that are similar to a mini-stroke... "complicated migranes". I have to do some more research on that, but the E.R. doctor said that I've most likely been having them for years (it's just gotten to the point where I'm actually seeing things that aren't there and going temporarily blind because of the pregnancy).

I am less nervous about giving birth this time around (now that I know my headaches aren't actually some anurysm waiting to blow), but I still worry that either something will go wrong during the birth or my "girl parts" won't feel as good to my husband after I heal. And I'm not looking forward to the pain of healing. I ripped 3 ways with my son, and had a very long and painful recovery.

[deleted account]

Some people truly are not afraid i really was not scared or had fear about the birth in anyway.My midwives and doctor told me i was doing so well and was so calm...As i said in my second pregnancy at the moment when i was having blood cloths and knew my baby was in danger i was very scared for her and i was terrified until the moment i knew she was okay and then i was happy.Every bit of the c-section pain and recovery was worth it.My fear wasnt getting a c-section it was is my baby going to live.We all deal with things differently its only natural for many to fear birth.

Leonie - posted on 04/24/2010

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Wow Dawneen - I'm so sorry you had such an awful time of it :( Glad you made it through.

Dawneen - posted on 04/24/2010

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I was frightened. I had a bad doctor- but it was my first child and I didn't know what was normal and what was not. I was about 2 wks over due, and my doc. decided last min. that he wanted to do a c-section after refusing to do one earlier on. (I'm 5'4 and my son was 8lbs 12.9 oz) although I had a high risk preg.

He scheduled a csection but one day when I went in to get an exam he did it so hard that I started bleeding and hurting really bad- my contractions which I had been having for 2 wks prior started hurting worse and with in a few hours I was ready to deliver. My doc. last min. decided to let me have a natural birth, he wouldn't give me an epidural because I "might have scoliosis." I had a natural, painful childbirth. He broke my water and said I was dilating so it was fine. To make a long story, shorter, having such a big baby, who also hadn't properly dropped, some how ended up tearing an artery. My doc. also left my placenta in me- even after my mom who was in the room with me told him that he didn't get it all out, he argued with her- and anyhow I spent about 2 wks in the hosp. getting blood transfusions and having D&Cs, as soon as they put blood in more came out- my doctor performed a few operations and claimed he found nothing, he told me that I "was a sick girl and would prob. die." After my mom and a head nurse saw me they told the doc. that he couldn't just putting blood in me and letting me bleed to death- they helicoptered me to another hosp. a few hours away, where they had found the placenta and the torn artery. I was so relieved that no more blood came. My advice and point of this story is- FIND A GOOD DOCTOR, trust your instinct. You'll be fine, and I highly advice using pain med. or it will feel like your insides are being ripped out.. sorry, graphic but true. Also, don't be worried about having a natural birth over a csec. if you've had a normal preg. and are healthy- your body heals and I'm glad- although I would have liked to have been induced earlier around my son's due date- that I had a vag. birth.

Leonie - posted on 04/24/2010

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Kassy I tried the gas in my first birth and hated it too!was competely the wrong feeling for me - ade mr dizzy and feel like fainting. It interfered with the breathing I was using.

My second birth was a water birth and actually pain-free. Honestly. (no I'm not making it up!!) I was in a different place mentally like a deep sleep. I did hypnobirthing and meditation to prepare and to work on my fears and it really worked for me - and I had a one to one midwife who I completely trusted and felt safe with. I had no more worrying about what someone might make me do.

It was really intense but it never felt like pain. Well only once - but I knew /i had to gt back to my relaxed state or it would hurt so I did it and it wasn't pain anymore. ot being afraid made such a big difference to me!

So Carolee what do you think would help you feel less nervous?

Kassy - posted on 04/24/2010

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I was so scared, i hate hospitals , needles. I was So sared that i had my eyes shut most of the horrible long labour. It was so much pain, and i thought i was dead a few times, i cant belive that people were not scared of the pain.

My second labour -years later was better and i was thinking of the fisrt baby all the way through. My second labour made me understand my first. I worked out the gas made me feel like i was floating out of my body and maybe dying. I wasnt so scared then because i understood my body a bit better the second time.

Not game to do it again tho at this point.....

Carolee - posted on 04/24/2010

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When the nurse told me to start pushing (after 23 hours of labor), I told her I wasn't ready... she laughed out loud and told me to push anyways. I am due with #2 in 3 months, and this is about the time I get a little nervous about what can go wrong... all the "what if's" run through my head at odd times. But, I'm a worry-wart, so I'm used to being on-edge a bit. I know it's normal, natural, and HAS to happen, but I still get nervous.

Jaclyn - posted on 04/24/2010

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No I wasn't scared i was excited a little anxious but yeah i thought i was prepared for it..but i wasn't after 23hrs of labour they decided to do a casarean of that 23hrs i had 8hrs of pushing. I was exhausted. I found out that my pelvis is too small to give birth so with my second i had an elected casarean.

Firebird - posted on 04/24/2010

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Mostly I was just excited. If I was going to be scared of labour, I should have thought of that before letting myself get pregnant, right? If any complications had arisen, then I would have had just cause to be scared.

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2010

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yes!!!! you said it! my friends were brutally honest with me about the pain, and some friends were looking down on me for wanting the epidural, too. i went with my gut feeling..i knew if i was in excruciating pain, i couldnt relax...and all the literature did help a little, too. i wouldnt wish back labor on any momma! even for a second. Im proud of my decision and will probably continue to take crap for it, too. Ive always hated hospitals, too, and my OBGYN was a nightmare,( thank god for the nurses:) so i totally understand the anxiety of being in a hospital for the greatest moment of all time, and what that feels like. thank god we can laugh about it now!

Leonie - posted on 04/24/2010

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Thanks Sarah - I thought so too! Maybe everyone else is being quiet :)

I'm not afraid now but I certainly was the first time. Reading and learning, preparing well all helped but until you do it, I think it's hard to be completely fearless! Once I was over fear of labour, I had another fear - it came from knowing what could go wrong and how the cascade of interventions could work. I desperately didn't want to take scary sounding drugs or have an epidural and I was terrified of a caesar. I felt completely unsafe in hospital with people I didn't know and trust. So while I was trying so hard to relax and be calm because I knew it was only natural and I knew it was important to be calm - I was staying alert and in panic mode in case someone tried to make me do something I didn't want to do!! ....one long labour followed. Guess half of me was saying 'go with the flow!' and the other half was fighting it the whole way.

I think it's nature's clever plan that we forget the hard work once we have baby in our arms and all those lovely hormones swimming around to make us feel amazing!

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2010

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thanx for being honest, Leonie, it is scary when you have never done it before, and the doctors tell you all that can go wrong..... I find it funny that no one( but me )who has replied wasnt just a little afraid???!!! It is true that you forget the pain as soon as they are born, though! sheer happiness:)

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Well for me:I was 19 when i had my first i never thought of the birth, the pain i had no fear about that... but thought of how i was going to raise her,would i be a good mom.



...i just never thought of it to be honest but when i was in labour it happened quick i went from nothing as the midwife said to my water breaking and 4cms in the space of a few hours after examination ..i dealt with the contractions well and got through the birth it was amazing i had her 9&half hours after my water broke.



..i though after her when i was pregnant again four years later, i was really looking forward to seeing her and was so prepared to have her and i was ready..she was born by emergency c-section i was so relieved the finally made the decsion,i think when i know i have no choice in a way it has to be done whether naturally or c-section i relax and go with the flow because the end result is amazing and id go through anything for them to be handed to me safe and sound.:-)

Charlie - posted on 04/23/2010

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Honestly , no i wasn't .

I did a lot of research on birthing and found it made me feel calm knowing all possible outcomes and how it may or may not play out , i remember my doctor telling me i had to be induced and i was SO excited i couldnt wait to get to the hospital !

Joanna - posted on 04/23/2010

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I don't understand the whole fear of giving birth thing... IT's not something you can prevent, it's something our bodies are made to do, so why fear it? I think if you are scared of it it will only add to stress and complications. I had 2 easy labors but not great birth experiences, and even now that I'm pregnant with my third, and remember the pain and complications, I am calm as can be... I can't stop it, can I? So I'm just trying to stay relaxed and enjoy the pregnancy and not think about the labor/birth. Why let the fear of a a day of labor/birth ruin 9 beautiful months of pregnancy?

Sarah - posted on 04/23/2010

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I was terrified of labor, so i opted for an epidural. (I had a healthy baby girl 8 lbs, and i am so grateful for my experience). Before the epi, i was in horrifying back labor, and could not relax(breathing/lamas did not help), couldnt move and was not dilating past a 3, and was a week overdue...i got my epi, relaxed, took a much needed nap, dilated to a 10 in 2 hours, pushed for minutes, and she came out on her own..before the doc could even get there! I would love to say i deliverd naturally, but im so thankful for modern medicine, and Nurse Robin:)

Kate CP - posted on 04/23/2010

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Nope, I wasn't scared at all. I was excited! When I finally got the bloody show and my first contraction I actually said "Oh, thank Christ! It's about time!" My husband was very confused when I came out of the bathroom. :}

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